Sandra Oh starred on Grey’s Anatomy for a decade, becoming a megastar in the process. She’s opening up on the mental tumult that success caused. Here’s what she had to say.
Sandra Oh’s Early Beginnings
It would be unfair to say Oh was an unknown actress in 2005 when she landed a starring role on Grey’s Anatomy. She’d already won awards in her native Canada and co-starred with Rowan Atkinson in Bean. Her work was consistently praised, especially on the HBO series Arliss. Throw in a memorable appearance in Academy Award winner Sideways, and you have a pretty successful career already going on.
That being said, there are very few network dramas as successful as Grey’s Anatomy. She went from a critical darling to a regular Emmy nominee. Suddenly, she was a guest on The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. She went from a well-renowned actress to one of the most recognizable faces on ABC. As you’d expect, this sudden fame took some getting used to.
She Sought Therapy
Oh’s doing the media rounds to promote her new series The Chair. In one recent interview with Willie Geist, she opened up about losing her privacy. She said her sudden rise “was traumatic… The reason why I’m saying that is the circumstances you need to do your work is with a lot of privacy.” Her loss of anonymity made it more difficult to even go outside.
Luckily, Oh was able to find a good therapist. The Killing Eve star said, “You just have to work at finding your way to stay grounded. And a lot of times that’s by saying no.” Oh starred on the show through its first ten seasons and has not returned since.
A Continuing Advocate
This isn’t the first time Oh has mentioned how important therapy is in her career. Back in 2013, she spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about leaving Grey’s Anatomy. She said, “I’ve gone through a lot of therapy over this…I started thinking about it because I had to prepare myself. I gave myself two years to emotionally let go.” It looks like therapy helped her in the early days and ultimately helped her say goodbye.
Oh is as busy now as anyone else in Hollywood. She’s starring in three hit shows at the same time: Invincible, Killing Eve, and The Chair. She’s also providing her voice to Pixar’s upcoming film Turning Red and will star alongside Henry Golding and Michelle Yeoh in Tiger’s Apprentice. Both of those films are set to arrive in 2022, alongside the horror movie Umma, also starring Oh. One wonders how she can keep all of these projects straight.